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Scand J Immunol. 2006 Dec;64(6):633-8.

Surfactant protein D of the innate immune defence is inversely associated with human obesity and SP-D deficiency infers increased body weight in mice.

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  • 1Medical Biotechnology Center, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.


Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a key regulator of pathogen-induced inflammation. SP-D is further involved in lipid homeostasis in mouse lung and circulation and recent data have demonstrated that the body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)) is influenced by genes in common with SP-D. The objective of the present study was to describe the association between serum SP-D and weight, waist circumference or BMI, and furthermore to observe body weight development in SP-D-deficient (Spd-/-) mice. As a part of the Danish population-based twin study (GEMINAKAR) on the metabolic syndrome, we analysed 1476 Danish twins for serum SP-D and investigated associations with weight, waist circumference and BMI by multiple regression analysis. Serum SP-D was significantly and inversely associated with weight (P = 0.001) and waist circumference in men (P < 0.001) and to BMI in both genders (P = 0.039 women, P < 0.001 men). The age-dependent increase in serum SP-D was most prominent in lean persons (BMI < 20). Spd-/- mice and wild-type mice were subjected to a feeding study and body weights were recorded in a time course over 24 weeks. Spd-/- mouse weight gain was significantly increased, with 90 mg/week (P < 0.0001) in males on normal chow. Fat percentage was significantly increased by 17% in the Spd-/- male mice (P = 0.003). We conclude, that there is an association between low levels or absent SP-D and obesity.

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